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FCA beefs up register in bid to tackle rogue firms

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The FCA is to include information on unauthorised firms on its financial services register for the first time in an attempt to better highlight rogue firms to consumers.

The new register, which launches on 7 September, will allow consumer to look up individuals, firms and collective investment schemes based on name, reference number or postcode.

The service will set out whether a firm is covered by the Financial Ombudsman Service or the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, and will also provides explanations of financial and regulatory jargon.

Unauthorised firms will be included on the register for the first time and will be highlighted in red with a warning symbol in the search results.

The register will also state whether firms are falsely claiming to be from a genuine and authorised firm.

Search results on the new register will also include consumer credit firms that have interim permission.

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Comments

There are 6 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. A step in the right direction. But ask 100 people in the street about the FCA Register and how many do you think would know anything about it let alone be able or search for it and use it as described or intended? I think a really positive way to meet three of the FCA’s four statutory objectives; building market confidence, protecting consumers and reducing financial crime, would be to encourage/recommend/direct consumers in a marketing/advertising campaign to seek advice only from advisers/firms who ‘are’ authorised and regulated by them. It would certainly build market confidence in a much better way than just continually naming/shaming/fining firms which basically tells the vulnerable consumer out there what they already intuitively know – that the financial sector is crooked and can’t be trusted! Just a suggestion.

  2. A total waste of time in reality. The FCA need to be seen to be doing something and this is their idea of something. Do they actually believe that large amounts of people actually look at this stuff?
    Start diverting resources to pro actively hound these guys to weed them out and leave advisers alone for a while to get on with our jobs properly. That would be a step in the right direction.

  3. I look out of my window and gaze upon a very nice green meadow, with a horse in the middle and my ears are drawn to the sound of a stable door flapping in the back ground !

    Get the picture ?

  4. Christopher Petrie 4th September 2015 at 12:38 pm

    Well this is a good thing so the groans from the “usual suspects” above mean little to me.

    But…it should have been done years ago

    and…what’s the point of the MAS “directory” now? Why not just take the FCA data and publish the relevant information that would suit its readers on the MAS site?

  5. Can we now expect the FCA to stat prosecuting that breach the advice regulations

  6. Yes, instead of adding yet more to its monumentally labrynthine website which, anecdotally, not many consumers actually endeavour to explore (one only has to consider the number of people still being ripped off by pie-in-the-sky unregulated investment schemes sold over the phone by unregulated sales spivs), a much better expenditure would probably be a public awareness campaign via the media.

    The message could be very simple, it’s costs relatively reasonable and the results, I’d warrant, would be vastly more effective. All the message would have to be is “There are sharks and con men out there eager to persuade you to invest your money in unregulated schemes that are simply too good to be true. Such schemes offer you no protection if they fail or, more likely, never actually get off the ground. Your money can disappear into thin air and you will have nowhere to turn. Before committing to ANY investment scheme, CHECK FIRST on the FCA website that the firm you’re dealing with is authorised and regulated by the FCA. If it isn’t, we recommend strongly that you contact our helpline to find out why. Ignore this at your peril.”

    But then it’s the same old, same old FCA problem ~ don’t consult, but instead just spend money on what it thinks is likely to give the best appearance of doing something useful. The whole idea is typically stupid anyway ~ how can the FCA possibly know that any list of unauthorised firms will be complete and accurate? By definition, many of these firms are below the FCA’s radar and we all know that when it comes to acting on tip-offs, the FCA hardly has a glowing track record. Still, it’s all just OPM, so what the hell?

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